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City of Fort Myers says the state would have to fix flooding concerns from Fowler St. businesses

Fowler Street flooding
Posted at 4:55 PM, Aug 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-01 04:55:32-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — On Wednesday, business owners on Fowler Street said the city of Fort Myers sewer replacement project is overlooking a more concerning problem.

Earlier that week, Fox 4 learned that the construction job on Fowler Street was to replace sewer lines and would not be fixing the flooding issues on Fowler Street.

Ralph Evans, who has owned Ralphs Barbershop off Fowler Street for over 13 years, told Fox 4 he was shocked to learn that Fowler Street would be closed for two weeks, but would not fix, what he calls an ongoing flooding issue.

“That is an eye opener for me,” said Evans.

Fox 4 told Evans the city of Fort Myers Public Works Director Richard Moulton confirmed the project on Fowler Street is replacing 20-year-old sewer lines and would not fix the flooding on Fowler Street.

“My thinking, they should have fixed that pipe 10 years ago, and the flooding should have been taken care of 20 years ago,” said Evans.

Moulton says by replacing the older sewer lines, will keep Fowler Street from potentially caving in due to old, leaky pipes.

Moulton went on to say it's the state's responsibility to address flooding concerns in that area.

“That section of Fowler is maintained and owned; the storm sewers are owned by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT),” said Moulton.

A Statement, on Wednesday I requested clarity from Adam Rose, a spokesperson for FDOT.

Rose confirmed certain sections of Fowler Street are owned by the state, but couldn’t tell me at the time of this article if flooding on Fowler Street, specifically storm drain maintenance, is the responsibility of the state.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday storm drains were still working to empty pools of water on Fowler Street.

Back in Ralph's barber chair, customers spoke with Fox 4 about their experience with flooding on Fowler Street.

“I have seen cars stall out, like literally underwater,” said one customer.

“Thirteen years I have been here, 13 years we have been dealing with this flooding, I almost stalled out one time, I got a brand-new car,” said Ralph Evans.

It's an issue customers said is anything but brand new

“It gets really bad when it starts storming,” said one customer.

While the flooding question remains an ongoing question Fox 4 will continue to follow, as far as the sewer improvement project, it's still expected to tie up traffic through September 12.